My pink toenails

My toenails are pink. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Nope, this is NOT a column about homosexuality. Rather, one of fatherhood. Read on, if you can take it!

One of the joys I have had of being a father to a little girl is figuring out how to play “little girl” stuff without sacrificing my masculinity. Being the sort of father who wishes to encourage creativity, I always try to either help jump start the creative play period or to keep it going.

As a three year old, Brittany loved to play “dress up.” At the time, she was an only child and was often in search of a playmate. Daddy was often the one who quickly volunteered…until she started wanting to apply makeup and hairbows and other frilly girl stuff.

I’ve yet to understand what Santa Claus was thinking (and you can bet I’ll have a word with him the next time I see him) when he delivered a whole set of play makeup one year when she was still young. I’d nearly place money that a full quarter of that makeup ended up on my face. I’m thankful that it was “play” makeup and that a washcloth could remove it in a matter of seconds, particularly after the sound of a doorbell.

So when she got into painting fingernails a few years later, I wasn’t that worried. I was a veteran of face painting after all. How bad could fingernails be?

Unfortunately Daddy didn’t realize that the fingernail polish that Santa brought was the “grown-up” kind and was not easily removed. It wouldn’t have been a problem had I not shown up for work at an advertising agency I worked for the next morning.

As is the case with many Dads, my memory is somewhat faulty unless it has to do with history and/or sports. It wasn’t until just before lunch, while faxing important company documents that I heard, “are your fingernails pink?” A chill went up my spine—I knew they were. I didn’t have to look.

Fortunately for me, my co-worker was female and sympathized with my fatherly plight. She then let me in on one of the best secrets to date. It seems her father was of the occasional faulty memory type as well. Rather than paint his fingernails, he would let her paint his toenails. That way, if he forgot to remove the polish or if after removal, there were still little sparkly remnants, no one would know because he’d be wearing shoes.

So maybe my toenails will be pink the next time you see me. Maybe not. They may be blue or lavender or whatever that little sparkly color is. Chances are, they won’t be. But you’ll never know for sure, will you?



Filed under Columns, Kids

2 responses to “My pink toenails

  1. ant'ny

    So was it the “hairbows and other frilly girl stuff” that made you get a haircut? 😉

  2. Howard Mackie

    THAT is what being a dad of girls is all about. I have had my toes painted… and walked around with an ankle bracelet that my daughter made for me — it was made of hemp and bright pink beads– for two years. Fortunately, we are manly men and very secure in our masculinity, right? Plus, the pink complimented my outfit.

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